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Discography Ranked: Beach House Albums (2006-2023)

Beach House Albums Ranked

In my last post, I reviewed the 2023 Record Store Day EP, Become, by dream pop duo Beach House. Become is somewhat of a companion EP to their 2022 album Once Twice Melody. Today, I’m going to look back over the band’s career and rank the eight full-length albums they’ve given us so far.

Technically this is a “ranked worst to best” list, but when it comes down to it, I find value and quite enjoy the entire Beach House library of work.

As I’ve noted before, Beach House is a indie and dream pop duo that formed in Baltimore in about 2004. The band debuted with a self-titled LP in 2006 on Carpark Records. They gave us one more offering on Carpark before moving to Sub Pop, where they’ve been ever since. As of 2023, the band has graced us with eight LPs, culminating — so far — with the 2022 LP Once Twice Melody.

I put together a video breaking down the eight and ranking them as well. You can watch that here:

Without further adieu, let’s get started…

#8. Beach House (2006): 

Beach House’s self-titled debut album is what introduced us to the band. Dreamy indie pop soundscapes, Victoria Legrand’s enchanting vocals, Alex Scally’s pleasant guitar melodies. This introduced us to what would become their signature blend of melancholy lyrics backed by mellow, dreamy instrumentation.

It starts my list because, as you can see, it’s not in my collection. And that’s all you need to know.

Here’s “Master of None”

Of course, part of the reason this isn’t in my collection is because it’s been out of print for a long time. The price has risen steeply, and there haven’t really been any reissues as of the time of this post.

However, rumor has it one is coming.

#7. Thank Your Lucky Stars (2015): 

Thank Your Lucky Stars surprises listeners with some hefty shadowy undertones. We already know the music Beach House creates is dark, but here it seems slightly darker and more mysterious in a way.

Beach House has the ability to evoke deep emotions through haunting melodies and poetic lyrics, and they lean into that here. Still, there’s a reason this is the least played Beach House album I own.

It just hasn’t fully sunk in yet. And it’s been eight years.

As I like to highlight music videos of late, here’s “The Traveler” from Thank Your Lucky Stars.

#6. Devotion (2008): 

Devotion strengthened Beach House as a dream pop band to keep an eye on. Great overall, as a whole, it’s not quite as gripping as the albums higher on this list. Devotion sees Beach House still trying to find their power. Songs like “Turtle Island” and “Heart of Chambers” are the ones that drew me in, many of the others on the album keep me putting other LPs by the band on my turntable instead. It’s not that it’s bad — anything but — they just haven’t found their groove yet. After Devotion, the band would sign to Sub Pop, so there’s still good stuff here, and Sub Pop saw that.

As I pulled together this piece, I really gave the album a listen. Ending with “Home Again,” in my opinion, was a mistake. It’s the best song on the album, and closers don’t always get the attention they deserve.

Like on their debut, the band is still young and they haven’t fully matured the sound we now know and love. There’s an almost psychedelic haziness to the albums released on Carpark that you don’t really hear in their Sub Pop catalog.

That vibe definitely puts the “beach” in Beach House, though.

#5. Once Twice Melody (2022): 

Don’t get me wrong, One Twice Melody is actually quite decent. I think this is where it faltered: there was too much hype. After the successes with 7 in 2018 and Depression Cherry in 2015, Sub Pop went all in on the vinyl craze and presented it in a box set — which I have right here. A bit much, honestly, and far too expensive for what you get.

Here’s the title track:

Once Twice Melody did make my best of 2022 list, proof that it’s still plenty good.

#4. Bloom (2012): 

With Bloom, Beach House really delivered an immersive experience. Their signature dreamy compositions had been great to this point, but here they are elevated to new heights. “Myth,” “Lazuli,” “New Year” — these songs are phenomenal!

Bloom also features my favorite music video by the band, “Wishes,” which features the actor who plays Leland Palmer in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

I covered “Wishes” way back in 2013, and you can visit that post for more on the video and a quote from the director. Bloom also made my best of 2012 list.

The melodies on Bloom will linger in your head long after you pull the needle from the turntable and file the LP back in your Beach House section.

Beach House Depression Cherry Vinyl

#3. Depression Cherry (2015): 

Depression Cherry saw Beach House break out a bit. “Space Song” received some prominent placements in pop culture after people on TikTok began using it as a way to emphasize dramatic irony. From there, it was further placed in commercials, film, and TV. Last year, it had a prominent role in a similarly dramatic scene in Netflix’s Wednesday. The song is great. But “Space Song” aside, the rest of Depression Cherry is as well.

#2. Teen Dream (2010): 

Teen Dream marked a significant milestone in Beach House’s career. They had signed to Sub Pop, leaving behind their original label Carpark Records. And they gave us their most sonically expansive and polished sound yet, creating a fully mesmerizing journey.

The A-side is a powerhouse: “Zebra,” “Silver Soul,” and “Norway.” But the rest of the album is packed with gold as well — songs like “Lover of Mine” and “10 Mile Stereo” are just as powerful as the opening three.

Teen Dream saw Beach House leaning into their newfound ability to craft emotionally charged dream pop anthems, and it was from this base that they’d build their empire.

See where Teen Dream came in on my Best Albums of 2010 list, then check out a very old and dated album review of the LP.

Beach House 7 Loser Edition Vinyl

#1. 7 (2018): 

What is it with bands giving their albums a simple number as a name, and those being my personal favorite by the group? Blonde Redhead did it as well. 7 represents a bold evolution in Beach House’s sound, delving into a darker and more experimental sonic territory. The album represented a culmination of sorts to their growth. They blend elements of dream pop, shoegaze, and even psychedelic rock to create their now quite signature otherworldly musical experience.

Tracks like “Drunk in LA” and “Black Car” round out my all time top three tracks by the band — up there with “Space Song” and followed closely by a few from Teen Dream to round out the top 5. Here the band pushes boundaries in the way you want them to be pushed. The result is in an album that is simultaneously atmospheric, haunting, and deeply captivating.

There’s my list. All eight Beach House albums ranked. Do you agree with the order? What would you change, and what tops your list as the #1 album by Beach House? Let me know in the comments here or on YouTube.

Coming up soon, I’ll be digging into 5 albums to check out if you’re a Beach House fan, so drop your email below, subscribe to my YouTube Channel (and hit the “bell” so you’ll be notified of new videos), and I’ll see you around.

hand-picked vinyl recommendations

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